When I announced my pregnancy I was greeted with all the pleasantries, you know, “How exciting!” “When are you due!?” “What are you having?” “Do you have a name picked out?!” The questions went on.
And then this one: What are you going to do with your dogs?!?!
Um, well, I suppose they will still stay at our house. We have three dogs. We have the “reject” dogs that no one else wanted. Let me elaborate before you write me off as an awful person. We rescued all three. All three have major quirks. One sits and shakes at storms, fireworks, and the microwave. One is basically a cat – I didn’t see her until 7pm one day last week. The last guy, well he’s 70lbs. of fury and energy. So, yeah, they aren’t the blue ribbon winners, per se. They aren’t perfect, but we love them. But they are still our family. They were our family before baby. We researched how to introduce the dogs to the baby – my husband brought home a baby blanket from the hospital to let them smell her. When we brought her home, we held her while we let the dogs sniff and look. We probably could have done more, but it worked for us.
The first few nights of having a newborn are a blur, but one thing I do remember: those dogs loved her. When she cried, they ran to her. When I got up to feed her, they followed me. While she nursed, they laid at my feet.
Some of my favorite memories of my childhood include my dogs. My childhood dogs taught me about life, love, and companionship. I want my child(ren) to experience a dog’s love.
If you are worried about having pets with children – have faith in your pets. Give them a chance. They are worth it.
By being exposed to dogs, dogs that were and still are bigger than her, she has no fear of animals. We are still working on teaching her boundaries and that not every animal is friendly.
A dog is said to be man’s best friend, but they can also be a baby’s, just give them a chance.
**We have most certainly experienced situations in which the dogs were not enjoying her company. It is very important to research these key signs: licking lips, yawning, showing teeth, looking away, just to name a few. Be aware of your dog’s behavior and notice any changes while interacting with your child. There are options if your dog isn’t coping well, contact a vet for more information.**